David Wilkerson

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Digital Hybrid Psychoeducation: Model Development and Case Demonstrations

Professor Wilkerson's research focuses on the uses of technology to advance social work practice and education. In the area of practice, he's interested in ways to improve the delivery of online support as an aspect of psychoeducation. He also works on the delivery of online mental health services through rural public libraries and looks for methods to best infuse digital practice into the social work curriculum.

In 2016, Dr. Wilkerson's interest in tele-practice led him to become a member of a multidisciplinary team that researches social media technology for support and self-management of caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The team developed a web app and has published two articles from its pilot study in 2017 and 2018 on the uses of Facebook for joining social and support networks through Friendsourcing and Social Micro-volunteering. This work has resulted in an emerging international reputation and in 2019, he became the PI for a transnational research study that planned to replicate the Friendsourcing social media intervention for 80 Irish caregivers. The transnational project included collaboration with the Alzheimer's Society of Ireland and Care Alliance, Ireland. Related published telehealth research in 2020 included a design for online psychoeducation intervention for parent management training to enhance the delivery of peer support and the development of mutual aid. The online intervention is currently being redeveloped through a collaboration with eDesign and Learning Services/UITS for delivery through IU Expand and it will become an arm of a Telehealth School Safety Project that is in development with other IUSSW researchers. Other publications in this area in 2020 included his work on a Telepractice CE program that had international impact in response to COVID-19 and a perspective on the issue of balancing caregiver rights for privacy and their right to online support.

Professor Wilkerson's translation of research into better mental health interventions is another excellent example of how IUPUI's faculty members are TRANSLATING their RESEACH INTO PRACTICE.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 14
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    Student and Faculty Perceptions on Feedback in a Graduate Social Work Distance Education Program
    (Taylor and Francis, 2022-09-04) McCarthy, Katherine M.; Wilkerson, David; Ashirifi, Gifty
    Online social work educators are responsible for fostering high quality academic growth experiences for their students. Feedback instructors provide to students aims to further this goal. The purpose of this study is to understand how social work instructors and students in an entirely online MSW program value instructional feedback. Open-ended survey questions were used to gather instructor and student perspectives. Qualitative analyses revealed similar themes. Faculty felt the main purpose of feedback was to facilitate learning, improve effectiveness of learning, enhance student social work capability, and foster engagement and connection. MSW students felt the main importance of feedback was that it fostered student development, assessed student progress, facilitated interaction and communication with instructor, and clarified misunderstanding. Contrary to the traditional role of feedback in on-the-ground programs, both MSW faculty and students felt that feedback in the online modality not only increased content comprehension but also influenced the student and instructor relationship. This study highlights the need to train faculty to deliver feedback that is consonant with distance education students' desire to experience connection and support as a part of their online education.
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    Lurking Behavior in Online Psychosocial Discussion Forums: Theoretical Perspectives and Implications for Practice
    (Taylor and Francis, 2016-07-02) Wilkerson, David A.
    Improving outcomes of telebehavioral psychoeducation requires rethinking program design when delivered wholly or partially for self-directed participation. Discussion forum participation often follows the “90-9-1 Rule” where 90% of participants lurk, rather than contribute content. A theoretical perspective on the behavior can help explain its adaptive functions, as well as the threats that this behavior poses to the lurker. Implications for practice require program redesign that actively links individual skills training and group-based discussion. The proposed linking design can synergize individual and group participation to support the development of mutual aid, as well as greater interaction with psychoeducation content and materials.
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    Online psychoeducation with parent management training: Examining the contribution of peer support
    (Wiley, 2020) Wilkerson, David A.; Gregory Jr., Virgil L.; Kim, Hea-Won
    Psychoeducation is an empirically based intervention that is increasingly delivered online to individuals and groups. Low participation has been a problem for online designs that include peer support. New technology designs have been called for, and in response, we developed a model that synchronized the delivery of individual and group-based psychoeducational activities for parent management training. We used a problem-based learning strategy delivered to caregivers of youth demonstrating oppositional behaviours to encourage the development of helping processes and peer support. This mixed methods intervention study had high rates of participant retention and positive measurable changes for two of its three psychoeducational outcome measures. When we merged the study data, we observed that mutual aid—a frequently sought goal of group-based interventions—contributed to participant outcomes.
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    Telebehavioral practice basics for social worker educators and clinicians responding to COVID-19
    (Taylor and Francis, 2020-11-16) Wilkerson, David A.; Wolfe-Taylor, Samantha N.; Deck, Christian K.; Wahler, Elizabeth A.; Davis, Tamara S.
    Social Work’s Grand Challenge to Harness Technology for Social Good calls for educators to reevaluate their role and its significance for the future of social work. Information and communication technology (ICT)-mediated practice methods like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, gamification, and big data, among others, represent a new arena for social work practice. However, educators have been mostly inactive in developing curricula that support student knowledge, training, and decision-making on the adoption of technology for practice. In the United States, the Council on Social Work Education Futures Task Force highlighted this inaction as a matter of critical uncertainty for the field’s future. In contrast, this paper describes how a school of social work rapidly deployed a free, CE training program on the basics of telebehavioral health practice to the social work community to aid their response to COVID-19. The rapid deployment of that training has been distilled as ‘lessons learned’ for those wanting to join in efforts to address the field’s critical uncertainty regarding the adoption of technology. Information is presented about the reach of this training and includes feedback from participants. Additionally, the authors discuss whether COVID-19 can influence social work’s future rate of technology adoption.
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    Analysis of Social Work Theory Progression Published in 2004
    (IUPUI, 2007-04-30) Decker, Valerie D.; Suman, Philip D.; Burge, Barb J.; Deka, Ankita; Harris, Melanie; Hymans, Dwight J.; Marcussen, Michael; Pittman, Donna; Wilkerson, David A.; Daley, James G.
    The authors reviewed 67 articles that discussed and/or tested human behavior theories from social work journals published in 2004 in order to assess the level and quality of theory progression. The articles were further sorted into Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) Foundation Curriculum content areas of HBSE, practice, policy, field education, values & ethics, diversity, populations-at-risk/social and economic justice, and research for purposes of categorization. Results indicated that HBSE and practice were by far the largest group of articles reviewed.Also found was that social work has a limited amount of theory discussion in the content areas of field, values and ethics, diversity, and populations-at-risk/social and economic justice. Thirty-three articles were found to demonstrate theory progression, eight articles presented new/emerging theories, and 26 articles discussed or critiqued theories without presenting evidence of theory progression.
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    “We Have a Lot of Sleeping Parents”: Comparing Inner-City and Suburban High School Teachers’ Experiences with Parent Involvement
    (IUPUI, 2010-09-28) Wilkerson, David A.; Kim, Hea-Won
    Teachers’ experiences with parent involvement were compared at an inner-city high school and a suburban high school. Parent involvement has been described as underutilized by teachers, due to either ideological barriers or cultural biases against parents of lower socio-economic status. A sample of 62 teachers found no significant group differences between teachers at the two schools for either problematic or collaborative parent involvement. There was a significant difference for beliefs about parent competency. Results may suggest that the ideological barrier of a “protective model” for home/school relations devalues parent involvement for teachers. Parent involvement may be further devalued for inner-city teachers, who hold beliefs that parent competence is reduced by socioeconomic challenges.
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    "They Won't Come": Increasing Parent Involvement in Parent Management Training Programs for At-Risk Youths in Schools
    (2008-09-01) Ouellette, Philip M.; Wilkerson, David A.
    The absence of parents from schools is seen as an important factor related to the significant number of adolescents at risk of school failure. Effective parenting is known to be a key protective factor for adolescents at risk for school failure and other maladaptive developmental outcomes. While evidence-based parent management training models exist, their use has been limited by problems regarding recruitment and retention when services are offered through traditional means. We review the literature on parent involvement in schools, the effectiveness of parent education programs, and mutual aid activities. Logistical barriers to parent participation in parent management training programs and other school-related activities are examined, and a strategy using twenty-first-century technology will be described as a means to increase parent involvement in schools.
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    Community Alternatives for Love and Limits (CALL): A community-based family strengthening multi-family intervention program to respond to adolescents at risk
    (IUPUI, 2005-11-30) Wilkerson, David A.; Ouellette, Philip M.
    Family strengthening has become a source of growing interest, research, and program design in the fields of prevention and treatment for problems of youth delinquency, school failure, alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse (ATOD). Despite many studies that illustrate the positive outcomes of family strengthening programs and family-focused interventions, their use in communities has not advanced commensurate with their promise. This article offers a rationale for why programming efforts should continue to be directed towards family strengthening efforts as opposed to youth-focused only interventions. In addition, a community-based, family-strengthening alternative is described that addresses issues of youth delinquency while reducing barriers associated with availability, accessibility, and cost.
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    A Social Work Distance Educator Community of Practice: Description, Outcomes, and Future
    (2021) Wilkerson, David A.; McCarthy, Katherine M.; School of Social Work
    The growth of social work distance education has increased the need for teaching faculty to develop as effective online instructors. We researched how faculty made use of an online practice community during a semester teaching in an online MSW program. Community of practice theory guided the development of a persistent community space for mentoring, support, and pedagogy building using moderated asynchronous discussion forums. Qualitative analysis provided a description of how faculty made use of the community, their needs for professional development, and the importance of peer support. Discussion considered motivation and the use of community for all faculty ranks.
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    Adopting e-Social Work Practice: Pedagogical Strategies for Student Decision Making to Address Technology Uncertainty
    (Taylor & Francis, 2019) Wilkerson, David A.; Wolfe-Taylor, Samantha N.; Kinney, M. Killian; School of Social Work
    Student technology uncertainty was investigated in an introductory e-Social Work (e-SW) practice course. e-SW practice includes technology-mediated advocacy, research, and services delivery. A convergent parallel mixed methods design included pre- and post-test e-SW self-efficacy surveys and student reflections. There were significant measurable changes in the practice self efficacy scale and sub-scales. Thematic analysis demonstrated the course addressed student needs for increasing their knowledge and confidence prior to engaging in e-SW practice. Privacy and security regulation compliance showed the least increase in self-efficacy and should be an area for further development in future e-SW courses. The findings contribute to a growing literature supporting the need for investment in harnessing technology for future growth in the field of social work.